Amazon has unveiled its new Kindle Fire and set an official launch date of November 15, 2011, strategically just in time for the Black Friday rush. Although the device has yet to even hit the shelves, it is already being viewed as a potential threat to the Apple iPad, which currently has a fierce stranglehold over the tablet market. Will the Amazon Kindle Fire prove to be a viable competitor, or will it just be another in an increasingly long list of opponents eating iPad dust? This article will examine the matter with a friendly game of compare and contrast.

Price

Have you jumped on the tablet bandwagon? Why not? If you’re like most of the people who have held out, it is probably the luxury price that has you hesitant. Today’s tablet devices can be pretty expensive to say the least. The iPad 2, for example, is currently going for around $500 new. Of course you can get a much better deal for the first version of Apple’s trendy multimedia device, but that’s so last year and therefore, not as cool. When it comes to cost value, the Amazon Kindle Fire is incredibly hard to resist, debuting at the economical price of $199. In a tablet market stocked with expensive options, the Kindle is attractive right off the bat.

Feature Set

The iPad 2 wowed the tablet audience with a slew of impressive features, including two cameras, a built-in microphone, and 3G connectivity. Though you could easily say the addition of these particular items gives Apple’s device the edge, Amazon’s upcoming competitor is no slouch in the feature department, either, despite lacking them. The Kindle Fire is loaded with a desirable slate of features to call its own, with the most talked about being the cloud-based web browser known as Silk. Built on top of a split browser architecture, Silk is being hyped as a browser with revolutionary speed and power. Other interesting Amazon Kindle features include a color touchscreen display, support for tons of books and apps, and a unified inbox that allows users to view all their messages from a centralized interface.

Portability

When it comes to portability, the Amazon Kindle Fire arrives on the scene crushing the competition instantly, iPad included. The device is 7.5 inches and weighs a total of 14.6 ounces, meaning it is sleek enough to easily fit in your trendy carrying bag or even a larger sized pocket. And while the iPad 2 received a weight reduction itself, it is still considerably bulkier by comparison. For those who find the iPad a bit too large and uncomfortable to port around, the Amazon Kindle Fire could be the perfect alternative.

In Closing

The Amazon Kindle Fire is shaping up to be a huge success. In fact, it racked up more than 100,000 sales on the first day of presale availability, and according to Forbes, is already on pace to beat out the iPad and iPad 2 in terms of first month sales. However, even with this type of performance, whether it is able to put a notable chink in the armor or Apple’s dominant tablet device is still something that remains to be seen.